Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jimmy Page Book Shipping

It's official, the hand bound Genesis Publication book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page is shipping.

jp12pr240910It was reported on the Led Zeppelin Mailing list today that the £695 Deluxe Edition has reached at least one household:
Wow what a package weighs in at 17.2 lbs and comes protected with 4 layers of
packaging the book itself is magnifico and comes in its own plush proctive bag.

No word yet on any purchasers of the £395 Collectors Edition, who didn't contribute to the book, receiving their copies yet.

Two weeks ago photographer Mark Bowman, who had two shots in the book, posted that he had received his copy:
This thing is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE....!

I just got my Collector's Edition delivered yesterday... WOW - what a
magnificent statement from James Patrick Page on his life, his contributions to
the WORLD and a legacy that will most likely be remembered along the lines of
Bach, Mozart or Beethoven.....

So if you ordered Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, it is shipping.

If like me you didn't, you might want to stay away from the Zeppelin chat sites a while, lest you regret not splurging when you hear repeated entreaties about how fabulous this book is.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience Tour Over

Around the time this post loads onto the WordPress server, Jason Bonham, James Dylan, Tony Catania, Michael Devin and Stephen LeBlanc will be taking the final bows of the Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience Tour. Covering 38 shows in almost two months, three different runs into Canada, three shows in the Toronto Vacinity and a show at the Best Buy theatre in Times Square, it was, jasonby all accounts it was a successful tour. The show got consistently strong reviews and blew audiences away.

Early on, the fan reviews were luke-warm. By the time the the show hit Milwaukee on October 20th, the band seemed to be gelling and the word was out that this was a very good show. Then Montreal happened:
I sit for a moment to take in how great the show was tonight in Montreal ! Not because I feel we played any better than any other night but tonight the crowd was the highlight for me !! Never have I played to such a fantastic audience , I'm still shaking inside and feel overwhelmed . Thank you thank you thank you !!!!

Stephen LeBlanc was just as enthused as his boss:
The soccer crowd response we got in Montreal last night can't be a fluke. Awesome crowd, great show

img_2453_stdBass player Michael Devin also called it, "such an amazing night."

The tour was on a roll, and the next bunch of Canadian shows, in Quebec City, Hamilton, Kitchener and Toronto all got a strong response. Crossing back into America, they started November in Boston, travelled the North East, into Florida, across the Southwest and back up the west Coast. They played San Fransisco the night before the anniversary of the Last Waltz before finishing in Portland, Seattle, Bellingham and Vacnouver BC, a mere 740 miles from where they began in Dawson Creek BC.

Jason Bonham put together a top notch band, who did the hard work necessary to pull off an outstanding show for thousands of fans across North America. Next up for Jason Bonham is two shows with Black Country Communion in late December, and then back into the studio with the supergroup for BCCII. Look for a spring tour.


Download Robert Plant And Band of Joy

robert-plant-band-of-joy-artworkThe Monday after Thanksgiving in the USA is traditionally as Cyber Monday.

Today, for one day only, Robert Plant's Band of Joy album is available for download from Amazon.com for $1.99.

Happy Cyber Monday Led Zeppelin fans!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Robert Plant on Jimmy Fallon

It's being reported that Robert Plant will pay a visit to the  Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show on December 9th.img073

Fallon's late night show comes on in Conan O'Brian's old time slot, immediately after Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

Check your local listing for program time for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jason Bonham Without Flowers in His Hair

A news report from San Francisco on the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour: Review II

[caption id="attachment_433" align="alignright" width="232" caption="LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour"]LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour[/caption]

I’m a portion of the way through LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour, Stephen Davis’ new autobiographical read on Led Zeppelin’s 1975 tour of America and, more broadly speaking, Led Zeppelin’s 1975, and something is bothering me. In 1969 Davis saw Led Zeppelin at Boston’s famed Tea Party, and was impressed by the young, early rockers.

Between then and 1975 he worked as an editor at Rolling Stone (not the whole time), America’s premiere music magazine. So what does Davis do before heading out with Led Zeppelin? Familiarize himself with the Led Zeppelin catalogue. Familiarize himself, because working for the #1 music magazine means not being familiar with the top selling band, the top concert draw of the last five years?
Taking my assignment seriously, I had to familiarize myself with Led Zeppelin’s music… I had never even listened to 1973’s Houses of the Holy

My brother Chris is eight years younger than I. In 1975 he was still in the clutches of ardent Zeppelin fandom. He told me I had to hear the Led Zeppelin bootleg records because the mystical connection between the band and “the kids“ was a bout a communion forged by their intense love shows.

Yes kids, in 1975 you could be one year out of a Rolling Stone editorship and never listened to a Led Zeppelin album that had been #1 on Billboard, Cashbox and the UK album charts. You never need to wonder again why Led Zeppelin so mistrusted the “rock” press.

That Led Zeppelin mistrusted, even hated, the press is an important part of the story of LZ-’75. Stephen Davis was invited to travel with Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Led Zeppelin, in a proactive attempt to get better press for the band. Stephen Davis, in short, didn’t do his job for five years, and was rewarded with the gig of a lifetime. His superior attitude that the stoned kids who liked Led Zeppelin were, “in the clutches of ardent… fandom,” runs throughout the narrative.

Yet for that, LZ-’75 is an enjoyable read. Once Davis has familiarized himself, and given Led Zeppelin’s history up until 1975, the book settles into a nice memoir of the band and it’s extended family.

Because he knew he would be covering Led Zeppelin during part of their 1975 tour, Davis kept newspaper reports of the early days of the tour. Whether it’s the fans in Boston in near riot during the lead up to the tickets going on sale, or the early shows and the various problems they encountered, Davis covers the history of the 1975 tour. But it is when Davis joins up with Led Zeppelin in New York that LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour comes to life. The book shifts from historical record to personal, first person behind the scenes account of the tour.

It is, however, the Los Angeles portion of the tour that makes LZ-'75 worth the money. Whether it is chance encounters with Jimmy Page's ex-girlfriend Lori Maddox, ("Lori is a legend along Sunset Strip,") or Ron Wood's wife Chrissie, "who ran off with Jimmy before the tour started," (Wood is reported to have asked Jimmy at an after concert party in New York, "how's our bird?"): The Hyatt House, known as the Riot House; the groupies; the kindergarten teacher who wants to be a groupie, for one night at least; Iggy Pop selling heroin; John Bonham jamming, at full volume, to Alphonse Mouzon's 1975 album Mind Transplant at 3AM; or Robert Plant on Davis' hotel balcony, yelling "I am a Golden God!"

Add in an interview with Robert Plant (during which the aforementioned balcony scene occurs), and a meeting in Jimmy Page's hotel room where the exhausted(?) Page lies around in darkness, the room barely lit with "a dozen white candles." Davis has a meeting with the kindergarten teacher, The Prairie Princess, and two roadies at the bar.

Outside the Continental Hyatt House, Davis travels with the band on The Starship - including a harrowing trip through a storm, hangs out backstage, examines John Bonham's drum-kit with Bonham's faithful roadie Mick Hinton, to the concerts themselves.

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour is overall, an easy, comfortable read. Many of the stories herein will be familiar to a Led Zeppelin fan, but weaved together they tell an interesting tale of a top flight band at the apex of their career. Their Achilles Heel, drugs, was just beginning to show itself and the band would change irrevocably in the aftermath of 1975.

Dotted throughout with fabulous black and white pictures by Peter Simon, many of  them never before seen, LZ-'75 makes a perfect winter's afternoon read in the big comfortable chair.

I previously reviewed LZ-'75 from an e-book version here.

Band of Joy: You Can't Buy My Love

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy have released a new single from their hit album, Band of Joy. The Beatle-esque You Can't Buy My Love is available on iTunes and, presumably, wherever else you buy your music singles.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"You Know Too Much!"

Jason Bonham, once again proving he does do interviews with blogs, has talked to Stephen Appleford of West Coast Sound. jasonThe interview appears on LA Blogs, where The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience is currently playing. Bonham speaks about his tour, his father, and his time recording with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who told Jason leading up to the 02 concert three years ago, "You know too much!"

On his father's drumming style:
It's like the myth of him using huge drumsticks and hitting harder than anybody else. That's a lot of bollocks. His drums sticks are tiny compared to mine. There's a whole jazz element there that not many people are aware of.

On his father's three ring, Ballantine Beer symbol:
...it means father, mother and son. I always felt that I was part of it in some way.

On hanging arond with the memebrs of Led Zeppelin (while rehearsing for the 02 show):
They are the most normal bunch of guys you could be around. At one point we were in rehearsal, and this old lady turned up with sandwiches... we took a break, everyone would take a section of the newspaper and read. And I'm going, 'Where's the debauchery? Where's the upside down crosses and naked girls and sacrificial tables with virgins on them?' But, boy, when they played.

On why Robert Plant didn't continue with Led Zeppelin after the 02 show:
Robert always expressed to me: 'Jason, you know I love you, I loved your dad, and I know how great you are as a player. And on the night, you were great. But to me Led Zeppelin's John, not Jason.'

On the music made in the aftermath of the reunion with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones:
Some cool riff-based stuff, some acoustic stuff. I think Jimmy is still working on that stuff now. I look forward to hearing that. Jimmy was playing amazingly.

A good interview that, while short, covers a lot of ground and adds new information to the canon about the Led Zeppelin reunion and John Bonham.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience Pictures

Aubrey Stewart went to the Dallas Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience and "snuck" his Canon 7D with 24-70L lens in:
...Security immediately started shaking their heads saying it was a professional rig and I argued it was a consumer camera and they asked me to step to the side and they called someone on a walkie talkie and said they would have to get it approved. As they turned back to incoming patrons I handed my camera bag to my wife and told her to quickly go and she did. I stood there for a few minutes more and they realized I no longer had the camera and gave me one of those "no you didn't" looks. I just shrugged and walked on in and nobody pursued me.

The result is the best set of pictures I have seen of this tour, and I've looked at a lot of them.  He has graciously allowed me to post some of the pictures here.

For the whole set, go to imagesbyaubrey.com/jblze/







Thursday, November 18, 2010

Robert Plant to Join Cancer Concert Lineup

Five days before beginning his 2011 tour of the American Northeast in North Carolina in on January 18th, Robert will perform at a charity concert in London.

Along with The Who and Jeff Beck, Plant will perform at A Concert for Killing Cancer at London's Hammersmith Apollo January 13th.

The event is being put together by promoter Harvey Goldsmith and Plant's manager, Bill Curbishley:

Said Curbishley:
Robert and I had lived through the final months and days of close friends battling with cancer, but also fighting to overcome the effects of their treatments. Only later we discovered that PDT could perhaps have saved their lives and certainly given them some dignity in their final weeks.

See more Bill Curbishley here. And here. And Harvey Goldsmith.

Said Jeff Beck about the concert:
Any new breakthrough in cancer treatment should be taken very seriously and we want as many people to know about that as possible. The concert is not just going to raise funds to pay for new PDT trials, but will also help raise public awareness.

Money raised at the show will benefit the charity Killing Cancer, which helps to fund research into Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

Jeff Beck and Robert Plant? Perhaps "The New Yardbirds," would be an "good vehicle" for Jimmy Page.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jimmy Page "Desperate to be Playing."

Jimmy Page is once again making noise about new music and a tour for next year. jp01pr240910Earlier this year Page suggested he was ready to go with new material, plus some live shows, including a Peace Concert that was to be have taken place in China last month. Other than his book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, however, the guitarist has been silent.

He now says next year is the year, telling Planet Rock’s Liz Barnes:
I’m desperate to be playing… I’ll get a good vehicle to get out there and do some concerts.

While that statement is fairly ambiguous on the subject of new music, possibly suggesting there won’t be any, it seems clear Page wants to do some shows. Hopefully what he’s talking about is a tour, of course.
Update: Here's the interview:

3:59 (Liz Barnes): I can't let you go without mentioning your book, because I came to the launch and it's a beautiful book. But, having seen it now in real life, God, a lot of work must have gone in to that. I didn't realize how much was in it.

4:13 (Jimmy Page): Well, people had asked me to do a book before, like a written book. I thought, you know, I'd like to do this in a different way and do an autobiography, in pictures. So that's pretty interesting because, it sort of went back to when I was 13 years old and there's about 70-80 photographers in there. But the more that I did it and laced it together with the commentary, I'm really pleased I've done it now.

4:40 (LB): And what for the future of Mr. Page?

4:45 (JP): I'm desperate to be playing, but it won't be 'til next year. I'll get a good vehicle to get out there and do some concerts.

4:52 (LB): I think lots of people are desperate to see youplay.

5:03 (JP): Yea, next year. Let's hope it all comes to fruition next year.

Them Crooked Vultures for RockBand 3

Them Crooked Vultures may be scattered to the winds, each off doing their day jobs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hearing from them. This is especially true if you have a RockBand player in the house.vultures-back

The newest version of the hit video game includes the song Dead End Friends by Them Crooked Vultures. The new game will come with a keyboard for the first time and more songs from the classic rock era. Dead End Friends is available in X Box 360, Playstation 3 and Wii versions of the game.

Dead End Friends joins .New Fang, which was made available for RockBand last December

Robert Plant and Band of Joy 2011 Tour Dates

As mentioned last week here, leaked news of a Pittsburgh concert by Robert Plant and the Band of Joy meant an early 2011 tour. This morning, a number of dates were announced:robert-plant-band-of-joy-artwork


  • 18. Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

  • 19. Pittsburgh PA - Peterson Events Center (University of Pittsburgh)

  • 21. Ann Arbour, MI - Hill Auditorium

  • 22. Toronto, Ontario - Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

  • 25. Boston, MA - House of Blues

  • 26. Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre

  • 28. Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand Theatre

  • 29. New York, NY - Beacon Theatre


  • 1. Washington, DC - Constitution Hall

  • 2. Raleigh, NC - Memorial Auditorium

  • 4. North Charleston, SC - North Charleston Performing Arts Center

  • 5. Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre

  • 7. Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium

  • 8. and 9. Nashville, TN - War Memorial Auditorium

No ticket information is available as of yet.

Keep an eye on Ramble On for more shows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Robert Plant to add Shows

The Beaver County Times, a newspaper out of Beaver Pennsylvania,  is robert-plant-band-of-joy-artworkreporting  that Robert Plant and the Band of Joy will play Pittsburgh on January 19th.

Since finishing the European leg of his current tour in Belfast on November 2nd, Plant has been enjoying a hiatus.  It appears it won't last long, as a Pittsburgh show is likely an indicator of more shows early in 2011.

Ticket information for the Pittsburgh show will announced Monday. Expect it to be not the only one.

More Crooked Vultures

When Them Crooked Vultures finished their string of shows last summer, it seemed like the supergroup may have run it's course.

vultures-frontDave Grohl was heading back into the Foo Fighters fold: reports emerged they were back in the studio and some July 2011 UK dates have already been announced. Allowing for the difficulty in matching schedules of three highly successful musicians, Them Crooked Vultures looked like it may have run it's course.

Not so, says John Paul Jones:
He [John Paul Jones] says the group is already in the planning stages for a new album

"Some stuff we've worked on, but we're gonna write pretty quickly and just put it down," he said. "We may be a year or so."

He said the new set "will mainly be excess material from the first album".

On a side note, Jones also suggested he may join the Foo Fighters on stage at one of their London concerts in July. But unlike 411mania, I don't see that as the real story.

More Crooked Vultures, that's the real story.

And the Winner is...

Peter Fiskio of Tampa

Peter was the only respondent to get all five questions correct. Many other got four. Here are the answers:
Q. Name the plane Led Zeppelin used for their 1977 tour?
A. Ceasar's Chariot
The Starship was used on the 1973 and 1975 tours. It was grounded for repairs in 1977, and the band rented the Boeing 707 owned by Caesars Palace

Q. Where did Led Zeppelin get the Swan Song logo from?
A. A painting by William Rimmer (1816-1879) called "Evening: Fall of Day."
It currently is in a museum in Boston.

Q. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant retired to a cottage in Whales to write the third album, Led Zeppelin III. What was the name  of the cottage (proper spelling) and how was it misspelled on the album.

A. Bron-Yr-Aur. On the album, the song "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" appears.
According to William McKeen in the book Whole Lotta Led Zep: "...the misspelling (was) allegedly immortalized in the process of filing the copyright."

Q. Complete the lyric:

So I looked round to ___ __ _ ______.
Searching hard trying to brighten the day.

A. hitch up the reindeer.

Q. Who (according to himself) wrote Joe Perry and Stephen Tyler's speech when they inducted Led Zeppelin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

A. Stephen Davis, author
From the Prologue to LZ-'75:
One night in Beunos Aires, Jimmy Page asked Joe Perry to give the induction speech marking Led Zeppelin's entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that year. Joe enlisted bandmate Steven Tyler to share teh speech, and me to write it (page 3)

The last question may be considered a trick question, however, I was able to google the answer.

Thanks to all who sent replies.

Contest Closed

lz-75The quiz for the Stephen Davis book LZ-'75 is now closed. Any email received by noon with correct answers will be added to the list. The winner will be notified and announced in the next few hours, and correct answers to the questions posted.

Thanks to all who sent in an email. The winner will receive their book in the mail.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Giveaway

I have one copy of LZ-'75 by Stephen Davis to give away.

lz-75I have created a short Zep-quiz that isn't too difficult, yet not so easy my wife could answer the questions. The quiz will stay active for 24 hours, until noon Thursday. Email your answers to rambleon@briangardiner.ca. All correct quizzes will be put on a numbered list, then chosen by random number  generator.

Here's the quiz:

1. Name the plane Led Zeppelin used for their 1977 tour.

2. Where did Led Zeppelin get the Swan Song logo from?

3. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant retired to a cottage in Whales to write the third album, Led Zeppelin III. What was the name  of the cottage (proper spelling) and how was it misspelled on the album?

4. Complete the lyric:
So I looked round to ___ __ _ ______.
Searching hard trying to brighten the day.

5. Who (according to himself) wrote Joe Perry and Stephen Tyler's speech when they inducted Led Zeppelin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

That's it. Answer as many as you can and send them in. If I don't get any with five correct answers, I'll go to 4, then to 3, so send them in regardless of whether you know al the answers.

Winner will be notified sometime Thursday. They must be prepared to send me their mailing address.

About LZ-'75

A revealing account of Led Zepplin's 1975 North American tour including all- new interviews with-and insider information about-the band, from the bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods.

As a young music journalist in 1975, Stephen Davis got the opportunity of a lifetime: an invitation to cover the sold-out 1975 North American tour of Led Zeppelin, the biggest and most secretive rock band in the world, for a national magazine. He received a backstage pass, was granted interviews with band members, and even got a prized seat on the band's luxurious tour jet, The Starship. While on duty, he chronicled the Zeppelin tour in three notebooks, but after writing his article in 1975 he misplaced them. After three decades of searching, in 2005 he finally found the notebooks, on the covers of which he had scribbled the words "LZ-'75," and unearthed an amazing amount of new information from the tour including:

• Lost interviews with canny vocalist Robert Plant and the brilliant guitarist Jimmy Page

• Information on the rock icon who moonlighted as a heroin dealer

• Revelations about the identity of the lover about whom Robert Plant sings in "What Is and What Should Never Be" and "Black Country Woman"

• A detailed chronicle of each performance from a musical perspective, and a vivid account of the band members' extravagant, and often troubled, lives on tour

Tied together by Davis's entertaining narrative, and including more than forty never-before-published photographs, LZ-'75 is an unprecedented and comprehensive personal portrait of the greatest (and most notoriously press-shy) rock band in history at its apex.


Note: comments are closed, lest somebody decide to answer the questions.

contest runs from 12:00 noon EST Wednesday November 10 to 12:00 noon EST Thursday November 11.
All decisions of the operator of this blog are final

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Black Country Communion for Christmas

Black Country Communion has decided to launch the band from the place where it took it's name, England's Black Country.

BCC today announced two English shows over the Christmas holidays:
Wednesday Dec 29th at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Thursday Dec 30th at O2 London Shepherd's Bush Empire

bcc-logoThere will be an exclusive ticket pre-sale beginning next Monday, Nov. 15th through radio station Planet Rock. Tickets to both shows will then go on sale to the general public Friday November 19th.

The shows will be Black Country Communion's first full concerts. They performed a short, invitation only show that was broadcast on Planet Rock on September 20th, the day before their debut album was released.

Released on September 21st, the debut BCC CD, featuring Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham, has met critical acclaim. It reached #1 on Britain's music charts in October, and has been selling well.

After the two shows, Black Country Communion, according to both Jason Bonham and Glenn Hughes, will return to the studio to record BCC2, before doing a full tour beginning in the spring.

Inside the Atlantic Records Vault

Over the years, Atlantic Records collected a vast assortment of material. While we can easily imagine the tapes lying around, a priceless amount of music sitting in some vault, waiting for someone to notice what they have. But we don't think so much of pictures.
The images have been scattered about in dusty and moldy warehouses, relics of the pre-Internet age when photography was integral to selling music, and the photographers — names like Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Lee Friedlander and Robert Mapplethorpe — went on to become nearly as famous as the subjects they captured and defined.

Warner Music Group, which now owns Atlantic, is scouring "nearly 100,000 boxes," of photographs, "from warehouses around the globe."

Included in what has been found so far:
a series of unpublished black-and-white shots of Led Zeppelin in the studio in 1969 by Jim Cummins. The intimate collection by Mr. Cummins, who was an Atlantic photographer, portrays a group of young rockers before they became hugely famous and includes a rare image of Robert Plant, the band’s singer, playing the acoustic guitar.

Expect the pictures to be made publicly available sometime in the future as Warner looks to monetize it's collection.

More here.

Free Download

Stephen LeBlanc, keyboard player, lap steel guitar and back up guitarist in Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, is making his second album, Leftovers, availibale for free download.

leftoversAccording to Stephen LeBlanc's Facebook page, Leftovers is "songs recorded mostly at home between 2005-2009. Elly LeBlanc lends vocal talents and a bit of songwriting."

The files are in M4a format and will be usable on any iTunes compatible computer or MP3 player.

His first album, SLEB is available to purchase on iTunes:

Stephen LeBlanc on iTunes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience: Michael “Denim“ Devin

It was on all the music sites and magazines in August:
After months of speculation, Whitesnake are thrilled to announce their new bass player/singer… 35 year old Michael Devin.

Recently Michael was playing with Lynch Mob with new Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy.

[caption id="attachment_478" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Michael 'Denim' Devin(left) with Jason Bonham."]Michael 'Denim' Devin (left) with Jason Bonham.[/caption]

Brian Tichy turns up a lot in the Michael Devin story. Whether it’s as the organizer for the tribute to John Bonham, Bonzo: The Groove Remains the Same, that Devin played in (along with JBLZE keyboard/guitar/lap steel player Stephen LeBlanc); as the drummer for Lynch Mob and Whitesnake with Devin; or just in passing mention as Devin’s favourite drummer to work with:
He’s the best drummer in the west. That playing with him was utter madness and they brought thunder to every concert.

When asked about playing with Jason Bonham, Devin is similarly ebullient:
My favorite drummers are those that I learn from, whether I know them or not. Jason is that kind of drummer, undoubtedly, and I'm fortunate to have made a new friend with Jason. He’s a great drummer. A real good guy, too. He’s a musical person, like his dad. I love playing with him ‘cause he’s such a hard hitter and takes chances. His groove is powerful. His downbeats are heavy as hell. I’d say Jason is a lyrical drummer - with his phrasing - it's because music is so much a part of his personality. I love playing with Jason. He’s a hard worker when it comes to music, too. Nothing gets by him when it comes to Zeppelin, not a note.

Michael “Denom” Devin seems to have come of age in the mid-1970’s, not born then. His nickname, Denim, is, according to band mates, “because he emits such a 70’s demeanour.”

He picked up the bass when he was 12 and has been exploring it ever since. Although he says he also plays piano, vox, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, piano, drums, guitar and taurus pedals, "sings a little,” and has been playing harmonica during When The Levee Breaks on the current tour, the bass has always been his primary instrument.

He comes by his musical tastes honestly: the New England town he grew up in was a factory town, and the local radio stations played hard rock. Eventually he followed in the path of his sisters, who were rock fans.
My sisters… went to see Whitesnake in 1988. They were supporting the 1987 album. I wasn‘t invited, being the kid brother. They returned with T-shirts. I nicked one and wore it for years, ‘til it faded.

As an 18-year old rocker, Devin set up a makeshift studio in his parents basement:
I got an 8-track tape, put up some walls, covered them in egg crate and carpet, rolled in a drum kit.

In that studio, he says, he learnt how to write songs and play different instruments. "It was paradise," he says now.

After high school, it was off to The University of Massachusetts Amherst where he got a BA in creative writing. He then got a Masters Degree in Sound Engineering from Emerson College, working at Cherokee Studios on Fairfax in Los Angeles until 2002.

During 2001-02 he gigged around Los Angeles, playing with former Motley Crue singer John Corabi, and Danzig Guitarist John Christ. In 2002 he joined the Brian Tichy fronted band BALL, about which he now says it was a band he loved being in:
BALL was FUN. Lots of amazing talent in the BALL family tree. Joe Travers, John DeServio, Dorian Heartsong, Mark Dannells, and Joe Taylor. I made a good friend in Brian because of that band.

After BALL, Devin went on to master bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band, who he played with for three years. In Shepherd's band he played alongside guitarist Shaun Hague. The Massachusetts born Hague organizes tribute concerts in LA, bringing together numerous musicians to pay homage to artists like The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, which Michael Devin plays in.

Then a year ago a change. In November 2009 he joined former Dokken guitarist  George Lynch‘s band, Lynch Mob. Since then Devin has toured with Lynch Mob, Joined Whitesnake, played bass at the John Bonham tribute concert and toured with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.

In September he was at Lake Tahoe with Whitesnake, recording their new album. While a release date is still unknown, a tour begins next spring, leaving Devin little time to enjoy the successes of 2010.

He is a fixture in the LA circuit, and Jason Bonham heard about him through his sister, singer Zoe Bonham. Devin then introduced Jason Bonham to Stephen LeBlanc, who is also touring with The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience.

When Brian Tichy organized a tribute to John Bonham on the 30th anniversary of his death, he called on Devin to play bass in the evenings house band. "Bonzo: The Groove Remains the Same- A Night In Honor of John Henry Bonham," was a great success, "a magical evening," that "lined up perfectly with JBLZE rehearsals and the tour we’re on now."

About playing with Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, Devin pulls no punches:
Playing Led Zeppelin music to such enthused crowds, big fans like me, enjoying it as much as I do, coming together to celebrate Led Zeppelin and John Bonham, it’s awesome. I’m completely humbled by the experience. I’m not new to Zeppelin’s music, I was deep into the trip by about 13 years old. First songs I ever learned on bass were Zeppelin numbers. I love that band so much. For me it’s always been Zeppelin, Sabbath, Floyd, Purple - they pushed the boundaries of what a rock band could do musically. Playing these songs with Jason, with the band, every show is special. The shows have been really intense, really charged. Plus, just in listening to the inside stories, Jason’s experiences, hearing new bits of history every other day, it’s all higher learning for me.

Now Appearing...

on Tight But Loose

Tight But Loose is the premier Led Zeppelin website and magazine.  Dave Lewis started TBL in the 70's and, although he took a break after the death of John Bonham, has been doing it ever since.

So it is an honour to have my words printed on Dave's web server, as he uses a modified version of the JBLZE review I posted here. Scroll down the page until you see Centre in the Square, Kitchener, Ontario:


“Kitchener,” says Jason Bonham from the stage, bowler hat much like his father would occasionally wear perched on his head, “is very special to me. The background picture on my phone is of my dad in Kitchener.”

Meanwhile, it's worth mentioning that Tight But Loose issue #27 has been out about a month. Chock-a-block full of information about Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, Jason Bonham's tour, Black Country Communion and 30 years since the death of John Bonham.

If you're a fan, then it's a must have. You can order it here, but check out the whole website: you never who you might find there.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Streaming Video: Sons of Albion

Q104.3 has streaming video of Logan Plant's band Sons of Albion's show tonight from New York. You can watch it here:


Embedding is not available yet, when it is I will embed the video.

Update for Nov 6: Embedding now available.

The young Mr. Plant doesn't sound a whole lot like his father, although the occasional hint is there. However, he has his dads on stage mannerisms. And, apparently, the old mans historical sense.

Overall, the band is pretty solid, Logan Plant not a bad singer. And stay with it until the end, because they absolutely nail Neil Young's After the Goldrush as the last song of the set.

The Plant Boys Rule the Airwaves

If you're a fan of the singing Plant's, this could be your weekend. It kicks off tonight with Robert's son Logan, and his band, Sons of Albion. Performing from New Yorks  P.C. Richard and Son Theater, Q104.3 will be broadcasting the gig live.

More on Sons of Albion here.

Over 'ome, Logan's Dad Robert is having his night on BBC2 Saturday. At 10:15 tomorrow night, BBC2 is broadcasting a one-hour documentary on Plant, entitled By Myself:
Robert Plant discusses his musical journey from Stourbridge, the British blues boom, superstardom with Led Zeppelin in the 70s, to the Band of Joy album. He also looks at his work with The Honeydrippers and North African musicians, his reunion with Jimmy Page, and his pairing with Alison Krauss.

At 11:15, British TV viewers will get a re-broadcast of the Electric Proms show from the Roundhouse in London last weekend. At 12:15 Sunday morning, Plant does a half-hour show, Later.
Tracing Robert Plant's solo career from the early 90s via his appearances on Later... With Jools Holland. Through a mix of performance and interviews, the programme sees Robert reunited with Jimmy Page and a Moroccan orchestra, teaming up with Tom Jones and Solomon Burke on the Hootenanny, playing with former band Strange Sensation and also with Alison Krauss.

Now if only I can figure out how to listen to the radio in New York tonight, then catch TV shows in Britain tomorrow night.

Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page Book Launch

Jimmy Page, dressed in pinstripe suit, held court at the official launch of his Genesis Publication book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page. jp01pr240910The launch was in the form of a photographic exhibition of pictures from the book, at the Elms Lester Painting Rooms in West End London.

The exhibition is open to the public today and tomorrow, from 11:00 - 6:00. Admission is free. Never though t I'd wish I was in London in November...

Wonder if this means the sold-out book will start shipping soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sucker Punch Using When The Levee Breaks

When Zack Snyder debuted the trailer for his upcoming action fantasy, Sucker Punch, starring Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical fame, it featured Led Zeppelin's When The Levee Breaks. The song, however, wasn't expected to make the final cut due to licensing issues, Snyder told the audience at Comic Con in July.

It did, in fact, disappear from teasers that followed. However, Levee reappeared this week when the first feature trailer was released.

It doesn't look like my cup of tea as a movie, but you have to admit, When The Levee Breaks works great on it:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Robert Plant in Dublin

There's nothing like a good Irish writer to provide clarity with flair. Reviewing Robert Plant's concert last night at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Chris Wasser of the Herald proves himself to be a good Irish writer.

robert-plant-band-of-joy-artworkHis review is both very positive, giving Plant and The Band of Joy five stars, but also full of colour:
A WARM cup of tea and some polite words for his followers -- just some of the makings of a world famous rock star, right?

Well, not exactly.

Which is probably why Robert Plant deserves both our attention and, indeed, our respect...

Are we to believe that he actually doesn't dream about hitting the road with Zeppelin for a gargantuan trek across the globe?

Does it really matter?

After all, he's just ... cool.

And that's not something you could say about every other beard-wearing 62-year-old man with a peculiar dance and a glorious set of natural curls hanging from his scalp...

A rich and most colourful display of flawless musicianship and unique professionalism from beginning to end, an evening in the company of Robert Plant and his appropriately christened Band of Joy may not be enough for those still crossing their fingers and toes for the Zeppelin tour that is just never going to happen.

But I'll tell you one thing -- it's a damn fine consolation prize.

I particularly like the bit about beard-wearing 62-year-old man with a peculiar dance.

Plant and the Band of Joy finished the UK leg of their tour in Belfast tonight, and now break for a while.

Black Country Communion to Tour in May

In a recent interview with LeHigh Valley Music Blog, bccomcd-1Jason Bonham lays out the itinerary for his supergroup Black Country Communion:
Yes, we got a show in England we’re going to do at the end of the year, ‘cause I finish this, then I’m going to go home for a couple of weeks and I go to England for Christmas and then do the Black Country show at the end of the year. And then we’re going back in the studio in January and recording another album. And we hit the road, I think, in May of 2011.

Black Country Communion is Bonham's group with singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, guitarist Joe Bonamassa and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. Their debut album, released in September, is an international hit that reached #1 on the UK music charts.

Jason Bonham Does Do Interviews With Bloggers...

Just not, apparently, Led Zeppelin bloggers whose very town he's passing through.

The LeHigh Valley Music Blog, however, got a Jason Bonham interview before the Calgary show. As expected, it's the best interview I've seen so far, although the interview passes by a couple of questions that a)was on my list and b)were laying right there to be asked.jblze

A couple of snippets:
After the 02 Stadium show [in 2007] with Led Zeppelin, the expectation was that you guys were going to tour and then it didn’t happen. Can you tell me a little bit about what happened there?

...there was never talk of a tour before the 02, and after the 02, I think that was an idea the press had kind of built on. And there was no ever talk of a tour...the next phone call I got was in March, and then I flew to England to work with Jimmy and John Paul on writing material and to see what we could do musically together – and that was a great time...that was, for me, one of the highlights of my life – to have Jimmy page turn to you after we played a few ideas of his and John’s and then go, ‘Jason, have you got anything you want to work on?’

But I read a whole lot about the fact that Robert opted out of continuing on. Is that correct?

Robert gets a very tough time, gets hit hard because they kind of put it all on him. I’ve sat with Robert and we spoke very, very personally about my dad and the whole how he feels with it all...I felt very strong about his feelings for dad. His time has moved on. [He said] ‘I’m sorry if it’s not what you want to hear me say.’...

Lots more, and good interview. And Jason Bonham, now that we have established you do blog interviews...

Jason Bonham Interview

Jason Bonham gave an interview to Detroit's Classic Rock Station WCSX last week (link below). It's an all round good interview, that covers lots of ground, except Black Country Communion, which Jason has to sneak in at the end (it's the best album I've ever drummed on).

At the 9:40 mark, the interviewer asks about reforming Zeppelin, and using James Dylan as the singer:
Is there any chance you would grab Jimmy and John Paul and the singer you have now... and recreating a version of Led Zeppelin?

No Comment!

Trust me folks, in about a month the , ahem, respectable music rags will be running this headline:

Led Zeppelin to Tour With Jason Bonham's Singer.

The first line of the story will be, "during an interview with a Detroit radio station."
Give the interview a listen and see what you think: kidding or equivocating?

Jason Bonham Interview

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour - Stephen Davis

The last time Stephen Davis tackled the subject of Led Zeppelin, the result was Hammer of the Gods, a tabloid fodder biography of the 70’s superstars that was a bestseller due to it’s sensational content, but that is often reviled by Led Zeppelin faithful, for the same reason.

His newest Led Zeppelin tome, LZ-'75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour, due for release in Canada on Tuesday Nov 2nd, should inspire neither the same sales nor passions. While LZ-’75 is marketed as a book about Led Zeppelin, it’s really a book about Stephen Davis, with Led Zeppelin playing a significant supporting role.

lz-75Stephen Davis was a prominent rock journalist in 1975, a former editor of Rolling Stone, who was invited by Swan Song Vice-President Danny Goldberg to tour with Led Zeppelin. While it sounds at first blush that Davis travelled from the get go, it’s not so. He joined the 1975 Led Zeppelin tour in New York, then travelled with it to Los Angeles. The rest of America somehow managed to see Led Zeppelin without Stephen Davis.

The truth is Davis joins the tour at chapter 12, a third of the way through the book. Before that it’s Davis personal history with Led Zeppelin, i.e. as a young fan in 1969 he loved them, as an Editor at Rolling Stone he ignored them. By 1975, Davis was having to reacquaint himself with the band. He therefore, spends the early chapters giving the reader the bands history, and if there’s any revelations in the book, they emerge here. A couple of pieces that were news to me: Robert Plant had secret vocal chord surgery sometime after the 1973 tour, leaving him unable to speak for a couple of weeks, and his voice an octave lower than it had been; Physical Graffiti was delayed in the early months of 1975 in part because they were waiting for some Indian musicians to add backing tracks to Kashmir - they never did. I can’t help wondering, what would Kashmir sound like with Indian instruments layered on?

Any mention of drug use comes up in the early sections as well, and nothing outrageous.

Jimmy Page:
Jimmy Page was spent from long nights spent mixing the tapes for Zeppelin’s new album, which he had finished only the previous November… Jimmy was also said to be using heroin, which left him weak, anemic and spectrally thin.

John Bonham:
And then there was John Henry Bonham, also known as Bonzo or (behind his back) the Beast. Led Zeppelin’s brilliant drummer… was miserable about leaving his wife and two children and his cozy farm in the wintry English midlands for three months of touring in America. He was drinking a lot and had put on a ton of weight. He… looked fat; drank more than usual; may also have been dabbling in heroin

And although John Paul Jones isn’t reported to be on drugs, he isn’t spared a shot:
John Paul Jones had reportedly gone to Peter Grant… and told him he wanted to leave the band… Jones arrived at the next Zeppelin session and said nothing about leaving, but to the others he seemed sullen and more withdrawn than usual.

Outside of these examples, the negatives are kept to a minimum.

The early part of the tour is reported second hand, as Davis is not on the tour, but following it through the press. Once he joins the tour in New York, the book becomes a first hand account. You are privy to what Davis saw, whom he talked to and how he travelled (hint: sometimes, in a Led Zeppelin entourage limo and on the Starship).

You get a conversation in Jimmy Page’s hotel room and an interview with Robert Plant during the infamous “I am a Golden God!” photo session. He meets Mick Hinton, John Bonham’s drum tech, who gives him a tour of the drum set pre-concert. He meets groupies, cocktail waitresses with stories, roadies in bars, and Lori Maddox:
“That’s Lori Maddox,” he (Danny Goldberg) said. “She was Jimmy’s girlfriend when she was fourteen, which was only about three years ago… Since then Jimmy’s moved on, but she’s like a mascot, and they all like her, so she’s always around when the band is in town.

The books most damning part comes from a day Davis spent hanging around the Swan Song offices while Led Zeppelin were performing in the south. The receptionist was wading through a pile of fan mail, opening it to check for contraband, mostly the odd joint thrown in. The letters were then thrown out. Davis grabbed a stack of the letters, and he reprints one here. The fact that the letters are treated so shabbily, reflects badly on how Zeppelin treated their fan base. The letter reprinted is so earnest, if innocent, “I’m also ‘into’ black magic and playing guitar, so we have a lot in common,” that it deserves better than the garbage. Thousands of fans, in good faith, sent letters to the band they loved, and every single one of them was pillaged for goods and disposed unread.

Overall LZ-’75 is quick, easy and pleasant read. Nothing outrageous is reported, but neither does Stephen Davis pull any punches. If you are big time Led Zeppelin fan, you will likely find it an entertaining way to kill a winters afternoon. If you are Stephen Davis’ mother, you will be interested to know what Stephen was getting up to. However, if you are a marginal Led Zeppelin fan and wonder “who the fuck is Stephen Davis?” this book is probably not for you.
...(Led) Zeppelin (is) alone in the virtual arena as still reigning champions of rock.

Some say that, like many great champions, Led Zeppelin retired undefeated.

I don't think Robert Plant feels that way

LZ-'75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour.
Davis, Stephen 1947 -

A note about the edition: This book was released world wide on October 28th, 2010. Jaw droppingly, it is unavailable in Canada until tomorrow, Nov 2. As I live in Canada, yet the 21st century - unlike the book publishers - I downloaded a Dolby Digital Editions copy from an American book seller. Some hoops had to be jumped through to get the book, more to get it to function on my Kobo e-reader.

E-editions really don't do pictures well yet, so I can't comment on the quality of the pictures in the book (all by Peter Simon), except to say they are of terrible quality in the e-edition. That is, however, a limit of the technology at it's current stage of development.

You would think book publishers would have learnt from the music industry. Now that their works are being digitized, they are becoming easier to attain through illegal means. Making it harder for your customers to buy the product than to just take it is idiotic. Releasing the product in most, but not all countries, is begging potential customers to take what they might have bought.

Robert Plant on BBC

The Robert Plant Electric Proms concert at The Roundhouse is available to hear via streaming at BBC iPlayer:


Many accounts of his current show indicate it is very good. I was sceptical, not being a big fan of his new album, but this concert sounds excellent.